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Michal Rozworski: Beware of basic income

Wouldn’t it be great to get a cheque every month just for being you? This is the sweet, fuzzy vision the Ontario and federal Liberals, are counting on to sell their latest idea, a basic income. Just this year, the Ontario government laid the groundwork for a pilot project to test the idea. Any actual large-scale program […] . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Beware of basic income

Babel-on-the-Bay: Rainy days on those Sunny Ways.

You hate to tell this to our optimistic Prime Minister but occasionally it rains. We were thinking of that when we noted that in the past week, few people really appreciated the government’s feeble, last-minute attempt to manage assisted dying and the Senate was having trouble making the PM’s silly Senate solution functional. The combination […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Rainy days on those Sunny Ways.

Babel-on-the-Bay: The Liberal Party is not a movement.

The difference between a political party and a political movement is that a political party has a past, some structure and a future. A political movement follows the person with the best batteries in their megaphone. And it is too bad Justin Trudeau does not understand the difference. Our Liberal prime minister has once again […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The Liberal Party is not a movement.

Babel-on-the-Bay: There is more than one way to pay your dues.

There was an event years ago when the Liberal Party president and this writer were taking a rest after helping set up chairs for a large party meeting. And yes, it was part of our jobs. Because authority in the party comes with responsibility. You do whatever needs to be done. Justin Trudeau needs to […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: There is more than one way to pay your dues.

The Progressive Right: A Wide-Open Liberal Party ( #LPC #WPG2016 #cdnpoli )

The big news is the public announcement of the proposed changes to the Liberal Party constitution (via National Newswatch):The proposal, adopted Saturday by the party’s national board during a three-hour meeting with the prime minister in Halifax,… . . . → Read More: The Progressive Right: A Wide-Open Liberal Party ( #LPC #WPG2016 #cdnpoli )

Babel-on-the-Bay: Since Ontario Premier Wynne asked…

Never having been reluctant to give Premier Wynne advice before, we can hardly resist the opportunity to give her and her Liberal Party of Ontario advice on fund-raising. The first advice we will give her is to get her and her fellow members of the provincial parliament out of the fund-raising trough. They should not […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Since Ontario Premier Wynne asked…

Babel-on-the-Bay: Party conventions are always about money.

The first thing learned about political conventions is that it always has to be at a profit. The second is that if there is nothing contentious, create something. You always have to fill the hall. And filling the hall does not seem to be a problem for any of the three political party conventions planned […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Party conventions are always about money.

Babel-on-the-Bay: A guaranteed income for Canadian elites?

That was a firm step backward in time for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday. He gave jobs to people who had no need for another job. He gave the title of senator to people who had no need for further titles. He made a mockery of much needed reform. This is elitism at its worst. […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: A guaranteed income for Canadian elites?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Waiting for Minister Monsef.

Canadians have heard from the Conservatives and more recently the New Democrats about electoral reform. Voters are getting the impression that the Conservatives are vigorously opposed and the New Democrats very much in favour. Yet we seem to be hearing more from Liberal House Leader Dominic LeBlanc about this government initiative than the minister responsible. […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Waiting for Minister Monsef.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Ottawa thinking outside the box?

We should send an ‘Attaboy’ to the Trudeau Liberals in Ottawa. It seems they are trying to stretch the thinking in the Finance Department to find new ways to fund high- technology start-ups. They are giving serious study to a report recommending ways to support Canada’s weakened high technology sector. The hope is to move […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Is Ottawa thinking outside the box?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Honourable Members All!

A reader brought up what he considers a serious weakness in first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting yesterday. It is the assumption that we elect “honourable members’ to our legislatures and the House of Commons and select the same for our Senate. The member we elect with at least a plurality is assumed capable of representing all voters […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Honourable Members All!

Babel-on-the-Bay: But what if FPTP isn’t broke?

You almost hate to ask the question. What is wrong with the way Canadians vote? There seems to be an assumption by some people that first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting is a failure. Does that mean you have to dump FPTP and take a flier on some other theoretically improved voting system? And why is it better? […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: But what if FPTP isn’t broke?

Babel-on-the-Bay: The perils of political predictions in by-elections

A friend called the other evening. He wanted to know who would win tonight’s provincial by-election in Christine Elliott’s former electoral district of Whitby-Oshawa. Once again we had to patiently explain that it is impossible to predict. The opinion polls that say the Conservatives have the best chance are useless. The big rally the other […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: The perils of political predictions in by-elections

Babel-on-the-Bay: Can Trudeau open the sepulchres of government?

Can Canadians have an open government? Do we want one? Can Trudeau deliver it? They are all good questions. The problem inherent in the questions is Justin Trudeau’s understanding of how Ottawa really works. He might be biting off far more than his limited experience can handle. Of note is the fact that Justin’s father […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Can Trudeau open the sepulchres of government?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario Premier Wynne wins India.

Patrick Brown MPP eat your heart out. You are no longer India’s darling. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has won the media wars in the world’s largest democracy. In homophobic India, a lesbian politician from Canada was a big hit. It never occurred to us Canadians that Kathleen Wynne taking her husband Jane with her was […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Ontario Premier Wynne wins India.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau takes strike one on Senate solution.

He has to admit he was warned. The only people cheering the current dumb idea are the sycophants around him. Prime Minister Trudeau cannot use elitism to choose elites. Canadian senators need to be reasonably experienced politicos. And who knows politicos best but their own political parties. That is why the prime minister of the […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Trudeau takes strike one on Senate solution.

Babel-on-the-Bay: By way of apology to our Barrie Whigs.

This is about as close as Babel-on-the-Bay can come to an apology. For the life of this blog, we have tended to disparage a faction of the local Liberals in Barrie. Calling them Whigs was not a compliment. (Whigs are Liberals about 100 years out of date.) This change of heart needs an explanation. It […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: By way of apology to our Barrie Whigs.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Surely the media can do better!

We know the news media are desperate to find something to complain about with our new prime minister. They are just missing by a mile with their silly ‘nanny-gate’ huffing and puffing. This is no Gotcha. The simple question is do you want our prime minister to have appropriate household staff or not? Are we […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Surely the media can do better!

Babel-on-the-Bay: They want the show and substance too.

“My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends – it gives a lovely light!” Edna St. Vincent Millay – 1892 to 1950 Listen up boys and girls, what you see, is what you get. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not his father. Justin […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: They want the show and substance too.

Babel-on-the-Bay: Is the media the measure?

Commentator Chantal Hébert worries that Justin Trudeau lacks the gravitas of former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien. Thomas Walkom fears Trudeau is out of touch with the world leaders who have decided Russia’s Putin is a good guy after all. And we discussed Rosie DiManno yesterday who thinks Justin is juvenile. And those people write for […] . . . → Read More: Babel-on-the-Bay: Is the media the measure?

Babel-on-the-Bay: Can this be Canada’s Camelot?

They came out into the sunlight from Rideau Hall. They are the 15 women and 16 men who now serve Canada. They sit at the Round Table of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. And who will ever forget that when asked why the equal number of men and women in his cabinet, Justin Trudeau replied, “Because it is 2015.”

In two years Canada will be 150 years in the making. In this year, it has moved forward a century. It has moved from an oligarchy towards a democracy. It is returning to its world citizenship, to peace and caring and (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: A fine, feminine cabinet

Good to see that Prime Minister Trudeau (haven’t said that for a while) has kept an important promise and formed a gender-balanced cabinet. He said his cabinet would reflect Canada and a 50-50 male/female cabinet does just that.

Not surprisingly, some detractors insist that cabinet appointments should be made strictly on merit. They never have, of course. Other factors have always been

Bill Longstaff: PR—an essential first step

Our brand spanking new Liberal government has promised us electoral reform. Specifically, it is “committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.” Assuming the new system will provide proportional representation, this would be an essential first step in ensuring that all Canadians are fairly represented in their

Bill Longstaff: PR—an essential first step

Our brand spanking new Liberal government has promised us electoral reform. Specifically, it is “committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post voting system.” Assuming the new system will provide proportional representation, this would be an essential first step in ensuring that all Canadians are fairly represented in their governance.

Michal Rozworski: Canada missed the memo: it’s OK to talk about inequality and capitalism

There is no political rocket science to the Oct. 19th election result. Even with our slanted first-past-the-post system, it would have been difficult for Stephen Harper’s Conservatives to squeak out a parliamentary majority, or even minority, given that more than two-thirds of the population wanted him out.

If vague notions of change played the lead role in the long campaign, then the economy wrote the script for much of the rest. The Liberals won, while the others lost, on economic issues.

Since the global crisis of 2007-08, most of us have seen stagnation in incomes and living standards. The past (Read more…)